Skip to comments.Vanity: NRO Changes Posting Policy to Hide Negative Reactions to Establishment Columnists & Posters
Posted on 02/21/2014 9:08:20 PM PST by Sideshow Bob
Well, the elitist establishment (dare I say RINO) editors over at National Review and National Review Online (NRO) have sunk to another new low in their continued attacks on conservatives. It's been bad enough that the NRO stable of writers have been cranking out multiple hit pieces (including 3 in a row from the normally lucid Dr. Thomas Sowell) attacking Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the House/Senate Tea Party caucus, but NRO is now moving towards silencing conservative criticism of NRO's writers, columns and seminar RINO and libertarian posters.
Don't get me wrong, I like posting and/or commenting on NRO articles here at FreeRepublic. In the past, it was because the NRO article had something new, interesting or important I wanted to share or discuss with other FReepers.
A few years ago NRO added a clunky commenting function to their website and offered a feature that FR didn't have - a like/dislike button (actually, positive/negative). The button allowed NRO readers to express their displeasure at the posting of another commenter. After a while, NRO changed their posting policy to require registration to post a comment or use the negative button.
OK, I wasn't thrilled with losing some of my web "anonymity", but figured NRO - as a conservative website -wouldn't abuse my privacy too badly. Besides, I still liked being able to use that speedy negative button to "shout down" the pinhead RINO's who sometimes trolled over at NRO.
Many people say that National Review has been in decline away from conservatism ever since founder William F. Buckley died. I am inclined to agree. To be sure, the NR/NRO staff is becoming increasingly filled with young elitist East Coast writers from elitist East Coast universities. They might still be Republicans - and Olympia Snowe Republicans at that - or even Libertarians, but their content and editorial slant are increasingly out of step with the conservative grassroots and Tea Partiers. And it's getting really obvious and obnoxious.
First it was NRO's easy acceptance of Juan McCain as the 2008 GOP nominee, then it was their shameless politicking for a Romney candidacy, their quick embrace of Chris Krispy Creme and finally their bizarre condemnation of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tea Partiers and the government shutdown strategy.
With the clean debt ceiling bill recently passed by Congress you would think that NRO and the GOP Establishment writers would be happy with Ted Cruz and the House/Senate Tea Party Caucus. After all, Ted followed their advice and didn't shut down the federal government again to thwart Obama's continuing attempt to bankrupt the country.
Nope. Now the Establishment is ticked off that Ted & the TPers completely outmanuevered GOPe leadership, turned the tables on Boehner & McConnell and outed them as Obama surrender monkeys. It's taken a few days, but NRO has stepped into the breach and has launched a major offensive against Cruz and the conservative base. Each day for the past week NRO, their writers, their columnists and their editors have escalated their attacks. They want to embarrass Cruz and sway the conservative base back to the "reasonable" leadership of Boehner & McConnell.
The editors started by writing debt ceiling editorials that - just as in the government shutdown last fall - agreed with Cruz & TPers in the House on their conservative position, but criticized their tactics. NRO writers next move to writing puff pieces extolling Boehner's & McConnell's bravery in taking an adult position in passing a clean debt ceiling bill.
To NRO's shock and disbelief, their conservative readers are mixed in between seething anger and sneering, scoffing laughter at the positions and opinions of NRO, Mitch McTurtle, John Boehner, the rest of the GOPe circus and the Establishment RINO seminar posters on their website.
How can this be? Mitch & John are the GOP leaders, NR is the foremost opinion-leading conservative magazine (or so they think). They are confused why the conservative base isn't listening to them.
So the RINO Establishment media step up their game. Byron York (a former NR editor), Mona Charen, Ann Coulter and others sharpen their attacks on Cruz. As noted above, even Dr. Thomas Sowell writes 3 consecutive columns attacking Cruz. Their new storyline - Cruz is selfish and ego-driven. That's why Cruz forced poor Mitch & Assistant Senate Minority Leader John Cornyn to cloture vote in favor of raising America's insane amount of debt. Even worse, they argue, that self-serving Cruz is going to singlehandedly cause the GOP to blow their chance at regaining the Senate majority in November.
But this lie doesn't work either.
The NRO comments on these columns and editorials blow up from the normal handful of comments to HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of comments that are FURIOUS with the NRO, the GOPe, Charen, Coulter and especially Sowell. While it can't be proven, there appears to be an increase in the number of seminar Establishment posters (perhaps NRO staffers?) attempting to combat the reaction of NRO's conservative readership. But it doesn't help. These seminar NRO posters are getting crushed in thread debates and are being hammered with the speedy negative button.
Now perhaps it's just a coincidence, but in the midst of this conservative Tea Party commenting pushback NRO changed their policy regarding the negative button without fanfare. Readers even need to follow a hidden link to learn that NRO will no longer display the running count of users of the negative button. They claim that they will still maintain a negative count internally, but just won't display that to their readers. This gives their readers a false appearance that any debate within their story threads is balanced.
The good news for Free Republic is that more FReepers will abandon NRO's commenting feature and bring their discussion and debate of NRO materials to this website. It's hard not to interpret NRO's policy change as an attempt to diminish and control Tea Party conservative pushback against GOPe messaging. It's also very sad and ironic for NRO to be moving toward silencing conservatives during the same week that NRO pontificates against FCC's plans to censor news and media.
The media is the only business where the customer is always wrong.
Ah, yes, the famous Daily Beast/Newsweek gambit.
Actually, the widely used commenting system Disqus is the one that changed the down arrow policy in the last couple of days. I assume NRO uses Disqus, but I suspect they had little to do with the change, although they might have had input into the decision I suppose.
I would think they would like the libertarians, the GOPe seems to want to move left on the social issues and true conservatism, while retaining a right leaning economic message.
Having spent over a decade in the media I assure you that editorial departments and reporters think they are far smarter than you. In fact, they think you (readers) are a moron.
Are you sure that it was Disqus? Or is it just a Disqus option that NRO recently implemented?
When you find yourself attacking Thomas Sowell as a RINO and demanding (insinuating ) that he not be published for us to read, that is when you know you have gone wrong, real wrong.
Nice Limbaugh quote.
If you go back long before the Sowell comments, long before Mark Steyn's very public knock-down-dragout with the homosexual NRO managing editor a few weeks ago, even long before Derb was fired for what NRO deemed were some "racially insensitive" [but IMHO true] remarks, NRO's comment sections have been savagely troll-bombed by Leftists for a long time now.
A lot of us who comment there have been complaining how the comments section looks a lot more like one for The Nation than one for NRO for a very long time, and asking when the site was going to bring the obvious agents provocateur to heel.
I don't know if the change is really about the Tea Party, or finally a response to Enemy Posters. [Which JRob would throw summarily out of here with a nice juicy Zot at the first sign of the kind of raving leftwing lunacy I've been seeing in the comments at NRO.]
I give Thomas Sowell a pass; he's not often wrong, but occasionally even Homer nods. Mona Charen? Meh. Who cares? But I do agree with you about the overall drift of the publication, which has now become quite alarming.
Has National Review finally succumbed to O'Sullivan's Law? We shall see...
Lowry has basically scuttled National Review.
Some insight into why they may have hidden the down arrow ratings.
Looks like it’s an overall change on the Disqus format. Not just on the NRO site.
National Review (and NRO) are simply decaying as many institutions do. As the stink from the decay increases, they are simply trying to hide the truth of that decay and how much they are diverging from the American conservative population.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
From what I gleaned from the Redstate comments, there seems to be a troll problem enabled by the fact that Disqus aggregates a commenter’s posts from all sites and allows stalkers to downvote everything the commenter ever wrote.
NRO has always had a huge contingent of leftist trolls that sometimes outnumber the conservative commenters.
I cancelled in 2008, and sometimes when I read my old-old copies, it breaks my heart to see how good it was, for so many years.
Just like we opined and supsected. It is a concerted effort to slam Senator Cruz and our TEA Patriots.
Well, divide and conquer, has backfired.
When people post stupid conspiracy crap like this it makes all of us who hold similar political views look bad.
The change was to and by disqus and applies to all websites that use their commenting program (cf. http://www.theatlantic.com/ )
Do a little research before posting stupid crap.
Please note I was not a Wallace supporter and a case could be made that he (Wallace) represented a substantial danger to Nixon as he could siphon off Conservative or disenchanted Democrats votes. Granted. But NR spent ALL of its time attacking Wallace and little, or none, doing the same with Humphrey.
It became quite clear NR is nothing more than an extension of the Establishment, both Republican and Democrat, which dominates our politics. It talks a great talk but doesn't really do the walk. I haven't trusted it since.
Agreed. National Review is utter garbage.
Correct, it is a Disqus option that NRO recently implemented.
Thanks very much for your information. I was young and didn’t read NR back then.
“But I do agree with you about the overall drift of the publication, which has now become quite alarming.”
When you find yourself attacking Thomas Sowell as a RINO and demanding (insinuating ) that he not be published for us to read, that is when you know you have gone wrong, real wrong.
No, I merely suggested that Dr. Sowell has lost his mind with his last 3 hit piece columns attacking Cruz. I stated factually (no insinuation) that he is among NRO's stable of Republican Establishment writers. RINO does not necessarily equal Establishment. But as an academic, Dr. Sowell might fit as an elitist.
I NEVER suggested that Dr. Sowell shouldn't be published or read. I don't want to stifle Sowell. My vanity rant was about NRO's attempt to stifle conservative blowback against the Establishment GOP.
I have not gone wrong, Sowell (and Charen and Coulter and York and NRO and the Weekly Standard) has.
Lowry and his attitude toward conservatives back in the 2008 election is why I dropped a 25 year subscription to NR and never looked back.
A little off topic, but related to comments.
Does anyone here read “Commentary”?
For a long time they never had comments and then they did for a while and the comments were pretty good (hey, esp. including mine!) but now they’ve gotten rid of them.
I googled a bit and even emailed them asking when and why they had done this, but they never answered and I never could find anything.
Anybody know anything about this?
Thanks if you do!
“National Review has NEVER been trustworthy, not even under WFB. I used to subscribe to it but noticed that during the 1968 Presidential contest NR was devoting all of its energies to criticizing George Wallace but not Humphrey.”
You’re quite right. Last night I happened to watch an old Firing Line featuring George Wallace as the guest. Buckley could not have come across as more of Northeastern Elitist if he had worked at it. Buckley even admitted that Wallace was making him sound like a liberal- which is certainly how Buckley came across.
I used to watch Firing Line but I didn’t recall this one and I was startled to see how much of a snobbish Establishment character Buckley displayed in his contemptuous dismissal of Wallace. Firing Line often featured Leftists as the guest and I’d never seen Buckley as rude to a guest as he was here. In retrospect you can see how much the GOP feared Wallace would run a populist campaign and siphon votes from Nixon; Buckley was being a good little waterboy to try to prevent it.
No, that article you linked is 18 months old. NRO has always had different customization than what is described in that article.
NRO made the change on a Friday mid-morning. Why not at the end of a day or over a weekend or at the start of a month? In fact, NRO went back and edited the negative ratings of all previous posts for all stories from all previous dates.
But the page you link to isn’t NRO, it’s Disqus help page explaining the change in how voting works. That appears to be a Disqus change, not a NRO change in options choices.
And when I looked at the moderation board options, it didn’t seem to offer a show/hide votes option.
So I’m not sure that NRO is the source of the change. While the Redstate post is older, it does indicate some of the troll problems that have cropped up from using Disqus.
Crucifying Thomas Sowell for writing his opinion on how we should proceed against socialism is a marked sign you have gone wrong.
Disagreeing is not attacking.
‘Attacking’ in this case is a word used to do nothing more than stir emotions.
Sowell posted that we should take a different path.
Post the exact words of the so called attacks that Sowell made if you can.
We need a leader. Do we expect John Boehner to weep us back into power?
That said, betting that Sowell is wrong about anything is risky.
Sorry, do your own damn homework.
Here's a better idea. Why don't you post the exact words that exculpate Sowell?
But I will say that the WWII analogy Sowell used in his latest column was rather poor:
1) I don't believe Cruz is fighting a war he can't win.
2) The state of the GOPe is not like Dunkirk.
3) The GOPe has never really fought the Dems.
4) I don't believe the GOPe is waiting for a war that it can win because there has been no evidence for nearly the last 20 years that the GOPe leadership will EVER stand up and fight the Dems.
I think a more apt WWII analogy is that if conservatives do as Sowell suggests and leave the GOPe leadership alone and wait for the GOPe to lead the fight to repeal Obamacare and fight the Dem agenda, it would be like the Allies waiting for Vichy France to take the lead in defeating Hitler.
No, you do your homework.
You keep posting that Sowell is attacking Cruz and when I asked for an example of that , not only couldn't you come up with a single one but you demand that I prove he wasn't,that I prove a negative.
It is YOU HATERS who do the attacking
You are attacking Sowell and accusing him of doing what you are doing to him .
Sorry, you might be able to sell that tripe if Sowell wrote just one column in a vacuum. Sowell wrote 3 consecutive pieces "disagreeing" with Cruz. And Sowell did so amidst a flurry of Establishment GOP columnists that all had roughly the same "Gravitas" messaging.
To me, that constitutes malice, intent and coordination.
Is that a crime now in your imaginary New World Order??
Must we round up those like Sowell into camps for the *crime* of disagreement of the new world order?
....and like you did, to lie and call disagreement *attacks* on him ?
I posted several hundred words on this thread and you still want more. If you don't like what I wrote, go to another thread.
If you stay, keep it civil. Call me a HATER or deceitful again and you will be answering to JimRob.
“That said, betting that Sowell is wrong about anything is risky. “
Sowell made a number of errors in his book on the housing bubble. He isn’t infallible. I suspect he relied on some researchers who didn’t serve him well.
More than that Sowell is 83 years old now. Not everyone remains as sharp as they once were when the years start piling up.
Project much? Please remember that this vanity post was about NRO's censorship of conservative pushback to their Establishment messaging. I don't want to restrict Sowell's freedom to express himself. I object to the GOPe using leftist media tactics to smother Tea Party dissent.
I will? Really? Lets test that.
AHHHHH ...I was just joking, I didnt mean it ,....oh nose... whats happening ?.....STOP IT.... I agree with you that Sowell is the enemy....what? its too late ??? .....AHHHHHHH
SOL RIP LOL
What’s this talk of homework? I don’t have any homework! I swear! ;d
I hate this change on discuss, I LOVE thumbs downing people’s replies. I wish I could do it here!
It sounds like my minutes are numbered here now/.
And yes it’s every website that uses disqus for comments so the “editors of NRO” are not doing it in a nefarious plot to “shield the establishment” or whatever nonsense the OP suggests.
Conservative comments attacking “Commentary” bloggers Jonathan Tobin and Peter Wehner became so numerous, and so vicious, that “Commentary” has completely blocked ALL comments.
maybe we can call them up twinkles and down twinkles
And trust me, they don’t care. You are baggage.
As you see with every form of print and most forms of TV/online media, readership is expendable. Government and wealthy libs will find the cash to replace advertizing. When that runs out, they will simply shuffle deck chairs and find new suckers to fund them Carlos Slim, Soros, Barack Obama...
Agenda is everything. The average non lib is an impediment. Most people hear that and might even believe it. But they don’t really “Believe it”. In the back of their sensical mind they thing that no, A media outlet needs readers and advertizers.
Wrong. If that was the case, Newsweek, sold for a dollar, would have been out of biz LONG before the dollar changed hands. But it went on for over a year...thanks to lib funding.
Personally I think the whole newsroom monitor plan is just another way to launder cash to failing media outlets. Among the obvious other things. I would bet the govt would pay for their placement before all was said and done in order to ‘ensure a smooth transition’.
Several of their writers - Jonathan Tobin and Peter Wehner specifically - are so far Left on so many political issues that Conservative readers attacked them relentlessly.
Their editor, John Podhoretz, is actually a refugee from National Review.
Podhoretz, who avidly supported the Bush-McCain Amnesty in 2005-2006, quit NRO in a rage when dozens of traditional Conservative readers (like me) attacked him.
Little did we know that NRO editor Rich Lowry would support Amnesty just a few years later and fire John Derbyshire for stating the obvious.
You don't often find such a combination as Buckley's life in today's intellectuals.